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General Laws

Section 69K. Any electric, gas or oil company which proposes to construct or operate facilities in the commonwealth may petition the board for a certificate of environmental impact and public interest with respect to such facility. The board shall consider such petition providing: the electric, gas or oil company is prevented from building a facility because it cannot meet standards imposed by a state or local agency with commercially available equipment or because the processing or granting by a state or local agency of any approval, consent, permit or certificate has been unduly delayed for any reason, including the preparation and publication of any environmental impact report required by section sixty-two of chapter thirty; or the electric, gas or oil company believes there are inconsistencies among resource use permits issued by such state or local agencies; or the electric, gas or oil company believes that a nonregulatory issue or condition has been raised or imposed by such state or local agencies such as but not limited to aesthetics and recreation; or the facility cannot be constructed due to any disapprovals, conditions or denials by a state or local agency or body, except with respect to any lands or interests therein, excluding public ways, owned or managed by any state agency or local government.

With respect to the siting of oil facilities, other than oil pipelines, this section shall not be construed to override those local zoning by-laws in effect on the date when a notice of intention required by section sixty-nine I is filed.

In addition to the foregoing determinations, the board shall, upon petition, consider an application for a certificate of environmental impact and public interest if it finds that any state or local agency has imposed a burdensome condition or limitation on any license or permit which has a substantial impact on the board’s responsibilities as set forth in section sixty-nine H.

Any facility, with respect to which a certificate is issued by the board, shall thereafter be constructed, maintained and operated in conformity with such certificate and any terms and conditions contained therein.

A certificate shall be issued only in accordance with the provisions of sections sixty-nine K to sixty-nine O, inclusive. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, a certificate may be so issued and when so issued, no state agency or local government shall require any approval, consent, permit, certificate or condition for the construction, operation or maintenance of the facility with respect to which the certificate is issued and no state agency or local government shall impose or enforce any law, ordinance, by-law, rule or regulation nor take any action nor fail to take any action which would delay or prevent the construction, operation or maintenance of such facility; provided, however, that the board shall not issue a certificate the effect of which would be to grant or modify a permit, approval or authorization which, if so granted or modified by the appropriate state or local agency, would be invalid because of a conflict with applicable federal water or air standards or requirements. A certificate, if issued, shall be in the form of a composite of all individual permits, approvals or authorizations which would otherwise be necessary for the construction and operation of the facility and that portion of the certificate which relates to subject matters within the jurisdiction of a state or local agency shall be enforced by said agency under the other applicable laws of the commonwealth as if it had been directly granted by the said agency.

Each national pollutant discharge elimination system permit issued by the board under this chapter shall have a fixed term which shall not exceed five years and which shall commence to run when the certificate is issued.

A certificate may be transferred to any other electric, gas or oil company by the holder thereof, subject to the terms and conditions contained therein.

The board may amend the terms and conditions of a certificate in accordance with the requirements of subsection E of section sixty-nine L.

The provisions of this section shall not apply in the case of a petition for a certificate with respect to a generating facility, which shall be subject to the provisions of section 69K1/2.

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